Saturday, 16 March 2013

Tesco shoot themselves in the fetlock.....again

At the bottom of the road we are blessed with a Tesco Metro.

It's a fine shop that contributed greatly towards the early retirement of both the newsagent and off-licence located a few metres from their door, not that this particular contribution from Tesco was necessarily welcomed with open arms by the new retirees. Especially as they have families to support.

For the majority of older residents in and around it, this convenience shop is just that. A convenience. Saves them taking a bus to the Sainsbury's located a half a mile down the road.

Now I'm not a retail analyst. In fact I know nothing about retail at all really. I can't explain why a tube of Colgate is £1 in a pound shop, yet £2.95 in Tesco. Or why an Arid deodorant is also a £1 in the pound ship yet £2.45 in Tesco. Or why the Tesco Metro doesn't keep dried lentils and barley in stock. Or Red Leicester cheese. Or Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps. And runs out of bread and milk way before closing. Or throws away tens of pounds of bakery items at the end of each day to be made into animal feed, while the homeless visiting St Georges Crypt for meals need to be fed.

I don't know about these things.

What I do know is that for the local Sainsbury shopper who might use the Tesco Metro as their first visit to Tesco, they are not doing themselves any favour with their prices at a premium level to their equivalent Tesco Supermarket, on two counts.

Firstly, a couple of elderly shoppers using this Tesco Metro for the first time (in fact their first visit to a Tesco) said to me that they are going back to Sainsbury's and would never, ever  consider doing their main shop in a Tesco supermarket.

And why you ask?

These shoppers thought that the high price of some of the goods in the Metro would be the same for the main Tesco supermarket - therefore much higher than they were used to paying in Sainsbury's down the road.

Bearing in mind the enforced retirement of newsagent and off-license as a result of said Tesco Metro opening at the bottom of the road, I thought it my duty NOT to explain that the prices in the Tesco Supermarket are generally lower than in the high-street destroying Metros.

Secondly, Morrison's having announced their late entry to the convenience store war, have declared they will maintain a price parity in whatever Morrison store version the shoppers chooses.

So will this force Tesco Metro to wake up and sell at price parity throughout the group?

Only time will tell.

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